Pets are part of the family, but they can prove costly if they fall ill and need veterinary treatment. While the NHS can treat the human members of our family free of charge, THERE IS NO EQUIVALENT SERVICE FOR OUR COMPANION ANIMALS.
The main reason for insuring your pet is to cover vet fees if your pet becomes ill or has an accident. Many conditions can be treated cheaply, however, as advances are made the investigation into complicated diseases e.g. X-Rays, Endoscopy, Blood Tests and the subsequent treatment can prove expensive. For example, modern safe arthritis tablets cost approx 50p each, new heart drugs (the same that many of us with heart disease will be prescribed!!) can cost up to £1 each. One dog recently had a total hip replacement at Glasgow University for severe joint disease, this has been very successful but at a cost of approx £4,000.00. Another good reason for insuring your pet is third-party liability – supposing your dog chews a friend’s expensive three-piece suite or is involved in a road traffic accident – you are liable for the damage involved. Other benefits can include insurance against loss, theft and accidental death.
We feel the main advantage of insurance is that it gives peace of mind to know that if your pet is insured, there are no financial obstacles involved in the treatment of your pet, especially if your pet develops a long term condition e.g. heart, skin or joint disease.
FOR THAT REASON PARKSIDE DOES RECOMMEND THE PRINCIPLE OF PET INSURANCE
There are many policies around, however many of the cheaper policies will only cover a condition for 1 year, after which, an exclusion is placed on your policy to prevent further claims for that problem. A better policy is one that only treats a single condition up to a (low) limit but not time restricted. The policy may say it pays up to 5000 pounds per year but the small print indicates that any single condition is up to a maximum of around £500. This policy looks cheap but it is very expensive due to the poor cover. We would only recommend policies that give lifelong cover for any ailment and unlimited or very high amounts (£5000+) for each illness. The oldest and original companies may still be the best to deal with for full peace of mind. You tend to get what you pay for! You MUST look at the small print as if your pet does develop a treatable illness, then you can’t change companies as this would be deemed to be a pre-existing illness and would not be covered by a new company. If anything is pre-existing, it will not be covered. Companies even ask for copies of a pets medical history, so they can look through and make sure a client is not being honest!
With recent changes in the law, we are not allowed to recommend specific companies, but we do stock brochures for you to look at. You can then contact the company directly for further details and/or a quote. It should be noted that insurance policies are completely independent of Parkside and ultimately you are liable for any costs involved in the treatment of your pets. You can claim back the fees (with our help in completing claims) after you have paid us. Remember your policy will have an excess, which we cannot recover and you must pay this to us.
Payment should always be made as cases progress and cannot be left until the end. We can claim for you as often as you want. REMEMBER, due to the policy excess, the amount you receive is always less than you have paid us, except in a claim for an on-going condition, where the excess for that year has already been paid. Every condition will have an excess – every year if ongoing, like diabetes.
Another forgotten-about benefit of insurance is that you are protected against damages if your pet was to injure someone or damage their property or clothing. Levels will vary with the policy chosen and need to be looked at when choosing a policy.